What’s better than some juicy, crisp, watermelon on a hot summer day?
It’s basically a sign that summer is here. Cutting it can be a hassle, so finding it in the store precut is ideal for most people. Before you buy your next pack of pre-cut melon, make sure you are informed about the recent recall. The CDC recently announced a multistate outbreak of salmonella and said that precut melon is to blame.
So far, 61 people have been infected, and half of them have had to be hospitalized.
The statement read:
“On June 8, 2018, Caito Foods, LLC recalled fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fresh-cut fruit medley products containing one of these melons produced at the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“• Recalled products were distributed to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio.
“• Recalled products were sold in clear, plastic clamshell containers at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon.
“• The investigation is ongoing to determine if products went to additional stores or states.
“Do not eat recalled products. Check your fridge and freezer for them and throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.
“• If you don’t remember where you bought pre-cut melon, don’t eat it and throw it away.
“Retailers should not sell or serve recalled pre-cut melon products distributed by Caito Foods Distribution, Gordon Food Service, and SpartanNash Distribution. CDC will update the advice to consumers and retailers if more information becomes available.”
Salmonella can cause serious health problems and can sometimes even be fatal.
The bacterium grows and reproduces on food, typically meat. Romaine lettuce was recently linked to an outbreak of salmonella, and it has been known to live on produce of all types. Salmonella can come in contact with food at any point in time.
Cooking food properly can kill the bacteria and prevent outbreaks, but some foods that are eaten raw, such as produce, can carry the bacteria just as easily.
Animal manure is often used as fertilizers for fruits and vegetables, and if the bacteria are in the manure, they can spread to the produce.
If you have eaten melon or feel that you may have come in contact with infected food, there are some things you can watch for.
The symptoms of salmonella poisoning include:
- Stomach cramps
- Bloody stool
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may want to see a doctor.
Antibiotics may help kill the bacteria and help you recover more quickly. It is also important to stay hydrated if you believe you have salmonella or another foodborne illness. Vomiting and diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a person and can lead to even more serious complications.
The CDC added more details to the report.
“The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide infections in five Midwestern states.
“• 60 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported.
“• 31 people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
“Epidemiologic and preliminary traceback evidence indicates that pre-cut melon supplied by Caito Foods, LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana is a likely source of this multistate outbreak.
“• Most of the ill people reported eating pre-cut cantaloupe, watermelon, or a fruit salad mix with melon purchased from grocery stores.
“Information collected from stores where ill people shopped indicates that Caito Foods, LLC supplied pre-cut melon to these stores.”
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If you want to enjoy melon and stay safe this summer, it’s a good idea to just buy it whole and cut it yourself.
Also, make sure to wash your melon thoroughly before cutting. It may take a little longer, but it sure beats suffering from salmonella poisoning when you would rather be outside having fun. Watch for other CDC warnings and recalls, too. You never know when there might be an outbreak.
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